Jazz Music News: New John Coltrane Album, ‘Blue World,’ Set For Release

Just over a year ago, Impulse! had a phenomenal success with Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, a startling assemblage of studio recordings made by the John Coltrane Quartet in 1963. That two-disc set posthumously gave Coltrane his first-ever debut on the Billboard 200, at No. 21; according to the label, global sales have exceeded 250,000 copies.

Now comes word of another new album by the classic John Coltrane Quartet, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums. Blue Worldwill be released on Impulse!/UMe on Sept. 27, and like Both Directions it offers an unexpected view on a pivotal period in the band’s evolution. It was recorded at Van Gelder Studios on June 24, 1964 — a few weeks after the quartet put a finishing touch on the album Crescent — as the soundtrack to a Canadian art film. Because the date had gone unnoted in session recording logs, this music has occupied a blind spot for Trane-ologists, archivists and historians.

But it’s featured prominently throughout the film, Le chat dans le sac (The Cat in the Bag) — a coolly stylized, politically charged docufiction by Gilles Groulx, considered a landmark of Québec cinema. Within the first two minutes of screen time — during direct-to-the-camera intros by Barbara and Claude, the young idealists whose uncoupling provides the film with its narrative tension — you can hear Coltrane’s quartet start into his exquisite ballad “Naima.” (The curious can watch the film here, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.)

Coltrane had first recorded “Naima” five years earlier, for the Atlantic album Giant Steps. His quartet had played it often in live settings, but this is a studio version, and a truly excellent one. It plays in its entirety, all four-and-a-half minutes, as Claude and Barbara make their opening statements. A following scene, revealing the lovers in a sensuous idyll, is also scored with new-to-us music by the Coltrane quartet, playing the saxophonist’s smoldering “Village Blues.”

Blue World Tracklist:

01 Naima (Take 1)
02 Village Blues (Take 2)
03 Blue World
04 Village Blues (Take 1)
05 Village Blues (Take 3)
06 Like Sonny
07 Traneing In
08 Naima (Take 2)

Article by NPR

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